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Night and Fog (The Criterion Collection)

143 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ten years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, filmmaker Alain Resnais documented the abandoned grounds of Auschwitz. One of the first cinematic reflections on the horrors of the Holocaust, Night and Fog (Nuit et Brouillard) contrasts the stillness of the abandoned camps' quiet, empty buildings with haunting wartime footage. With Night and Fog, Resnais investigates the cyclical nature of man's violence toward man and presents the unsettling suggestion that such horrors could come again.

Special Features

  • New transfer with restored image and sound and improved subtitle translation
  • Excerpt from an audio interview with director Alain Resnais
  • Optional music only track
  • New essay by Phillip Lopate
  • Essay about composer Hanns Eisler
  • Crew profiles

Product Details

  • Actors: Michel Bouquet, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler, Julius Streicher
  • Directors: Alain Resnais
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2003
  • Run Time: 32 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000093NQZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,064 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Night and Fog (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

272 of 278 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Hampton on July 26, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I first saw "Night and Fog" in a 16mm format when I was a senior in high school in 1970. So powerful and devastating was the imagery of this extraordinary short documentary, that it took me another 30 years to be able to watch other films on the Holocaust, such as "Schindler's List." When I saw "Night and Fog," I said to myself, "No other film needs to be made about the Holocaust. This is the definitive film." The stark, black and white images are devastating and powerful. In reading about the availability the film on video, I was astonished to see that the film had been made in 1955, so soon after the war. In the ensuing 45 years, it has lost none of its potency. For me, this is still the film that set the standard for all subsequent work on the Holocaust. Resnais' treatment of this subject will still burn the images right onto your retina.
I have since seen other films depicting the Holocaust, including "Schindler's List" and "Life is Beautiful," both of which were excellent. But "Night and Fog" is still the one work that will shake you to your marrow. I visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem in the late 70's, and the emotional experience was identical to and of the same wrenching caliber as watching "Night and Fog."
Truth is truth. We need to look at it, even when it would be more comfortable to turn away. Thank God someone like Resnais had the courage to tell the truth of the Holocaust in a ruthless and inescapable way that holds us all accountable. "Night and Fog" should give us all the courage to call evil by its name out loud when we see it, and to stand together to stop it.
This should be required viewing for everyone.
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81 of 81 people found the following review helpful By jaglom on October 19, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I can't quite explain the intensity and the power this film contains.
We talk about the Holocaust, we hear 6 million jews died, 12 million total, we may even see a film like Life is Beautiful, which scratches the surface to what went on inside the camps.
But nothing can prepare you for the sheer mindshattering power of this film.
It is a brief, stark film, shot in black and white and goes on for only a halfhour.
But instead of adding dramatic flourishes, or light intonations, it simply shows images of the horror that was the Holocaust. A musical score flows throughout the background as you are hit with an assault of image after image of what went on behind the camp gates.
You can watch the goriest film with practices 100x as bizarre, but they wont disturb you nearly as much as seeing an entire storeroom filled with hair cut off from the victims of this atrocity or pictures of human beings that stand there as mere skeletons.
The narrator shows incredible constraint in his tone and his line of comments. He simply provides a framework for the images and probes the viewer, "Why did this happen? How could we allow this to go on?"
Not for young children.
It stays with you. If it doesn't disturb you, if it doesn't deeply affect you, you may have to question the depth of your humanity.
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71 of 71 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
They showed us 'Night and Fog' in school. I was 13. It hit me like a bag of bricks then as it does now. It's one thing to read a schoolbook that says there were 'atrocities'. It is quite another to see piles of hair, gold teeth, wedding rings, shoes piled high and to realize all their owners were already dead. Seeing for the first time the reality of hunger on a human being, seeing piled bodies. I had nightmares then, and I have them now. Several students left, sickened. We were all stunned....they had to send us all home. For about a week we just could not function in the, what we now realized, lavish American lifestyle. We never felt safe again. We had seen hell. I believe the librarian was fired for showing us this film at such a young age. I am 32 now, and it has never left me, this film...and its horrors.
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98 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Nowhere Man VINE VOICE on July 8, 2003
Format: DVD
Alain Resnais's short, lasting a mere 31 minutes, is justifably famous as the first film to explore the Holocaust after the Second World War (it was released in 1955). More than just a depiction of the events, the film primarily concerned with the filmmaker's inability to convey the historical reality of the event. The colorful scenes Resnais shot of the abandoned camps are contrasted with horrific black-and-white images of Nazi brutality - decapitated skulls gathered in a bucket, a mountain of womens' hair, the living skeletons of the newly-liberated camps - and Resnais asks himself (and us): how can we possibly comprehend, in the safety of being a spectator, the immeasurable inhumanity and suffering of this event? What would it profit us or history as a whole even if we could? Would it really prevent human atrocities from recurring?
The film is best seen as a philosophical exploration rather than a history lesson - indeed, if you don't know at least the key events of the Nazi Regime, you'll find Resnais' elisions confusing. It is still a potent and unsettling film and, within its mere 31 minutes, opened up questions about artistic responsibility and representation that persist today about the Holocaust and other filmed depictions of human atrocities.
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